We started with a simple brown kraft paper box from the dollar store, printed paper napkins, Mod Podge™, assorted ribbons, tags, flowers, buttons and each person had fun embellishing a mixed media trinket box.
My former high school teacher ears picked up this comment, “It’s like craft camp for adults” from one participant, which made me smile. Why is it that as adults we don’t let ourselves play often enough or think that some projects are too juvenile?
Most paper napkins, even the dollar store variety consist of three layers. These must be peeled apart as only the top printed layer is used. This project also works well with printed tissue (as in my sample) or any other printed paper that’s interesting – newsprint, old book or dictionary pages, foreign newspapers etc.
Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge™ over a small area and either used the entire napkin in one piece, or tear the papers and Mod Podge™ them on as you go. Once the first layer is dry, it’s a good idea to give it another coat to seal everything. Depending on the look you want use either gloss or matte finish Mod Podge™. Before or after that final coat take a sanding block to distress the edges of the box and colour the corners with a stamp pad to give it an aged look.
|Plain kraft paper box and works in progress.|
Then the fun begins…the embellishing! It’s not a bad practice to employ a few simple design principles so that your project stays focused. The main ones in this project were colour, working in odd numbers, layering items and flow. Once the design is completed use a glue gun to secure the embellishments. The interior of the box can be left plain, covered with more napkin or painted. (as in Jan’s sample)
It’s all in the details…sometimes it’s not easy to see where a project can be improved, however slightly, by cutting a ribbon on the diagonal, trimming one piece shorter than the other two or subtracting an item to open up the design. One good way is to take a photo as this may show up those pesky threads of hot glue that always seem to be there or that the bird button is upside down to the rest of the design.
The brown kraft paper boxes come in a lot of sizes and shapes at Dollarama and other interesting shapes, also in the kraft paper finish, can be found at the larger craft stores.
Now there's nothing stopping you from picking up a box, a few supplies and pretending you’re away at summer camp!